Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rachel Rambles About All You Never Wanted

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin
From Goodreads:
With my eyes closed and Alex's core friends all around me, it was like I'd become my big sister, or something just as good. And so who cared if they were calling it Alex's party? One thing I knew: it would be remembered as mine.

Alex has it all—brains, beauty, popularity, and a dangerously hot boyfriend. Her little sister Thea wants it all, and she's stepped up her game to get it. Even if it means spinning the truth to win the attention she deserves. Even if it means uncovering a shocking secret her older sister never wanted to share. Even if it means crying wolf.

Told in the alternating voices of Alex and Thea, Adele Griffin's mesmerizing new novel is the story of a sibling rivalry on speed.

When I first started reading All You Never Wanted, I honestly didn't think I was going to like it that much. Both of the characters seemed too extreme to relate to, and I thought that the story was going to be too dramatic and unrealistic to get into. However, as I continued to read, I found myself getting sucked into the world of Alex and Thea, and I became fully invested in their story.

The sibling rivalry between the girls is something I struggled to get used to throughout the book. I have two sisters, but my relationship with them is absolutely nothing like the relationship between Thea and Alex. Thea is jealous of Alex's seemingly perfect life, but Alex is busy fighting her own inner demons and hiding herself from the rest of the world. The way the girls relate to each other is difficult to get used to, because I just couldn't understand how they could treat each other the way they do. But after awhile, I accepted it, and by the end of the novel, I had no problem believing that the relationship the girls shared was real and could exist with any pair of sisters.

What's interesting about this book is the fact that I had pretty much nothing in common with either of the main characters. They each struggled with countless personal problems, and their lives seemed dark and twisted and unhealthy. But that didn't stop me from feeling connected to the story. I grew to love these girls, despite their flaws, and I began to see the world through their eyes. Throughout the novel, I began to understood Thea and Alex more and more, until eventually I got to a point where their actions and decisions made a lot of sense to me.

All You Never Wanted is not a light read. It touches on a lot of heavy topics, and the wrecked home life of the two main characters is the main focus. I may have felt like the characters seemed too unrealistic in the beginning of the book, but by the end, I felt like they were real girls struggling with real problems. This book made me sad at times, and it made me angry or frustrated at others, but I think that overall, it opened my eyes. I went into this book extremely wary, but I turned the last page with a more open mind. I saw the world from the perspective of two girls so wildly different from myself, and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to understand Thea and Alex instead of closing the book after only reading a few pages, like I wanted to.

All You Never Wanted was not the easiest book to read, and I had a really difficult time getting into it, but I'm glad that I decided to stick with it. The characters are fascinating and layered, and the writing style is gorgeous. This is the first Adele Griffin book I've ever read, but if she is always this good at telling stories, then it definitely won't be my last.

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